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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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In the past 30 years, food allergies have become increasingly common in the United States. Changes to human genetics can't explain the sudden rise. That is because it takes many generations for changes to spread that widely within a population. Perhaps the explanation lies in changes to our environment, particularly our internal environment. Shifting lifestyle practices over the last half-century—increasing antibiotic and antimicrobial use, surface sterilization, air filtration and changes to diet—have changed our internal environment and wiped out important bacteria with beneficial health effects.

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By Jodi Helmer

Your sourdough starter has terroir—and researchers at NC State University are determined to understand it. Its Sourdough Project collected 550 sourdough starters from around the world and analyzed the micro-organisms found in each sample to determine how the environment affects wild yeast and lactic and acetic acids that give the starter its unique flavor.

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Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.

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Nick Harris / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Haixia Yang

The antimicrobial chemical triclosan is in thousands of products that we use daily: hand soaps, toothpastes, body wash, kitchenware and even some toys. Work in our lab suggests that this compound may have widespread health risks, including aggravating inflammation in the gut and promoting the development of colon cancer by altering the gut microbiota, the community of microbes found in our intestines.

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